Our Authority Issues

I don’t know who you think you are. That’s what Chris said to me, followed by some unsavory name-calling that genuinely hurt my feelings.

Photo: Luis Quintero, Unsplash

His reaction was strong—much stronger than I anticipated when I decided to hold him accountable to making more godly choices than he had in his recent past before he knew Jesus.

Chris was a sophomore in college, and I hadn’t seen him since he left Ocean City, Maryland seven months previous. I heard through another student that he had started drinking again and was back in the thick of the hard-partying lifestyle he committed to leaving only a few months before he arrived in Ocean City for the ten-week long summer mission I run each year.

I have been a full-time missionary working with college students for over twenty years, so I’ve seen students make the kind of choices Chris was making plenty of times before. But that didn’t make what he said to me any less painful.

Episode 007 – Rechab Gray

Rechab Gray, Paul Tripp, Me

In this month’s episode of The Connecting Podcast, Rechab Gray joins Paul Tripp and me to answer some important questions about the beauty of God’s grace, and the wonder of the gospel.

Rechab is a dear friend of Paul’s and a new friend of mine! He’s a gifted preacher, currently planting New Creation Fellowship in Orlando, Florida. He has been married to his wife Brittany since 2009 and they have four amazing children.

You can listen to the episode HERE or click the image above to watch it on YouTube.

Episode 006 – Lois Kehlenbrick

In this month’s episode, Paul and I are excited to introduce you to someone special – Lois Kehlenbrink.

Lois is a biblical counselor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She worked at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City for several years, and she also happens to be the sister of Paul’s wife, Luella.

Lois trains and counselors pastors, their wives, and ministry leaders all around the world. In this interview, you’ll experience how the gospel truly connects to and transforms everyday life.

The Problem with Wikipedia and Google When Trying to Get Authentic Information

Google has become, quite literally, the leading authority when it comes to our questions. We make the assumption that because it’s on page one after we hit “enter,” it’s delivering truth, but that is surely not the case. If you’re looking for basic information about any kind of subject and you type it into Google, often you’ll find that the Wikipedia page for that subject is first to come up at the top.

Photo by Sergey Zolkin, Unsplash

This is probably unsurprising to you as you’ve no doubt seen countless Wikipedia pages with droves of information on something you were curious about. But since Wikipedia is often the first source Google points you toward, that begs the question, “Is Wikipedia a reliable source for information?”

Ironically, according to Wikipedia itself, the answer is “no.” As I was researching, I typed Is Wikipedia a reliable source? into Google, and the top site that came up was a Wikipedia page saying it wasn’t. Naturally, I clicked on it, and this is what it had to say in further detail:

Episode 005 – Sam Allberry

In our newest episode of The Connecting Podcast, Paul Tripp and I talk with our friend Sam Allberry about sexuality, identity, and our physical bodies.

Sam Allberry, Paul Tripp, and Me

Sam is a pastor, apologist, author, and speaker. He is the author of a number of books, including:
•𝘐𝘴 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘈𝘯𝘵𝘪-𝘎𝘢𝘺?
•𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘏𝘢𝘴 𝘛𝘰 𝘚𝘢𝘺 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘉𝘰𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘴
•𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘋𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘊𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘐 𝘚𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩?
•7 𝘔𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘴 𝘈𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘚𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴
You can click HERE to listen to the episode and our conversation with Sam, or you can click on the image above.

Episode 002 with Vaneetha Risener

Episode 002 with Vaneetha Risener on The Connecting Podcast was incredible.

Front: Joel and Vaneetha Risener, Back: Me and Paul Tripp

Vaneetha is truly a modern-day Job, and I’m honored to have been able to interview her with Paul Tripp on The Connecting Podcast. Listen to her full interview HERE.

The Connecting Podcast

I’m beyond thrilled to announce a new podcast I’ve launched with my friend, Paul David Tripp.

The Connecting Podcast

The Connecting Podcast with Paul Tripp and me features lengthy discussions – up to 2 hours – with special guests that will dive deep into the gospel and how it transforms our daily lives. Conversations will cover topics like suffering, evangelism, work, sexuality, culture, and so much more.

Each episode is released on the first Friday of the month and the first episode was just released!

Use Your God-Given Brain

It’s important that we ask ourselves how we form our own opinions, and take a long, hard look at who or what is crafting those opinions. If all the information you acquire about a certain subject comes from one or only a handful of similar sources, your life-building opinions might be formed not by truth, but by a self-affirming echo chamber of fallacies.

Photo: Mikael Kristenson, Unsplash

Consequently, we as rational Christians need to be intentional about diversifying the portfolio of channels by which we get input, while simultaneously saturating ourselves in the ultimate source of truth: the Bible.

And as we make comparisons between our input channels and the Word of God, we’re able to grasp a robust collection of information and opinions, comparing them directly with Scripture. Scripture then filters the information and cultural opinion, leaving us with the building blocks to assemble an abundant life that honors the Lord and brings glory to Jesus Christ.

Why “Live Your Own Truth” is a Garbage Statement

There must be shared common ground on what we believe is real, otherwise, there will always be conflict and chaos. The problem is that most people in the cultural West struggle to find such common ground when it comes to truth, because that culture has been spoon-feeding the “live your own truth” mantra to itself for decades.

Photo: Michael Carruth, Unsplash

We continue to live in the middle of a cultural civil war where skepticism and cynicism is the name of the game because there can never be unified agreement when everyone is living their own truth. Ironically, the command to live your own truth is a self-negating statement because it’s demanding that all of us submit to the unified truth that we must live a certain way…the statement itself doesn’t make any sense. And we wonder why people can’t seem to agree—“live your own truth” is the kind of thinking that leads to mass confusion about what is factual and what is not.